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September 23, 2016 11:17 am

UK’s Exeter U Launches Investigation Into Students Wearing Holocaust-Glorifying T-Shirts

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An Exeter University students sporting an antisemitic t-shirt with the slogan, "The Holocaust was a good time." Photo: Twitter.

An Exeter University student sporting an antisemitic t-shirt with the slogan, “The Holocaust was a good time.” Photo: Twitter.

The UK’s Exeter University has launched an investigation into an incident involving Holocaust-glorifying t-shirts, a spokesman from the school told The Algemeiner.

Responding to a query about an event at which members of a university sports club were seen wearing t-shirts emblazoned with Jew-hating and white-supremacist slogans, the spokesman said, “Antisemitic, racist or bigoted behavior in any form is not tolerated. The Athletic Union, which oversees sports on campus, has taken measures to ensure this does not happen again and has apologized for any offense caused.”

On Tuesday, members of the Exeter Snowsports society attending an off-campus party were photographed wearing the t-shirts, and the images were uploaded to social media. Pictures show some of the t-shirts with swastikas and racist slogans, such as, “The Holocaust was a good time,” and, “Don’t speak to me if you’re not white.”

Exeter Athletic Union President Josh Callander told The Algemeiner in a statement that the union “operates a zero-tolerance policy towards racist and bigoted behavior,” and, as a result of Tuesday’s incident, has “banned any future sporting social events which involve the practice of students writing on white t-shirts.”

The policy already appears to be taking effect, as sports clubs at Exeter are instructing their members not to show up at events with white t-shirts.

exeter-university

“We want to prevent anything like this from happening again, and I would like to apologize to anyone affected,” Callander said.  

Mark Kiner, publicity director for Exeter’s Jewish Society (JSoc), told The Algemeiner  that the antisemitic and racist nature of the t-shirts are “a clear sign of ignorance from the students,” calling the slogans on them “very offensive.”

Campus life for Jews at Exeter is “very good,” he said. “This may be the first time something like this has happened.”

“The responsibility lies solely with the students who did it. JSoc is very grateful the university has promised to get to the bottom of who was responsible, but for now it’s too early to judge what the university is going to do,” Kiner stated.

A spokesperson from the UK’s Union of Jewish Students (UJS) called the displays of antisemitism “extremely concerning,” telling The Algemeiner, “Any language that glorifies the Holocaust is unacceptable and is not something that students should have to experience during their time at university.”

“We welcome the university’s decision to investigate the incident and the action that has so far been taken against the relevant society,” the UJS spokesperson said. “We will be working with Exeter JSoc to ensure that appropriate action is taken.”

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